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AIBU?

To be involved with my year 8 exam revision?

112 replies

Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 11:17

Just wondering how much others get involved in their year 7/8/9 child’s revision?

I was a complete swot at school / uni - and study skills is something that I really do appreciate makes a huge difference. Consequently - every evening I am structuring a plan with my DS, re what he will learn that evening and then testing him on it.

His classmate’s mother, who is also my friend! And I were chatting and I mentioned how I would be relieved to get my evenings back post exams and saw looked quizzically at me. Transpires she leaves her year 8 entirely to his own devices, which is obviously completely fair enough! But it did prick my interest. Am i the minority or majority?

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Luckycatt · 07/10/2022 12:46

Yes - ex teacher and I help my own ks3 kids with revision. It's much like what I'd be reaching my Ks3 classes when I taught. Strategies to revise, ideas to memorise things, helping retention. So I show my kids things like mind maps - we might draw one together for a science test for example. I don't know how much of that sort of skill teaching goes on in their school. I suspect very little.

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Orangesarenottheonlyfruit · 07/10/2022 12:47

I think you're setting your kid up for future failure.
I have various friends who pushed their kids like this and the kids did well, until university and then they were lost without their parents help.

I have 2 DDs. One extremely academic, one with ADHD and a bit more creative. The academic one had worked like a Trojan, got a great scholarship etc all under her own steam. The second child did less work but found her own happy medium. I let her do as much as she wanted but all her results were her own. She fluffed a few exams but learnt from it and has actually gone on to do good things.

You have to let kids learn it themselves, learn to fail and learn resilience. By pushing this hard, you are creating future problems.

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Malbecfan · 07/10/2022 12:51

A "friend" is like this with her DC. She micromanages every aspect of their lives. Her DC are now 18 and 16 and cannot get their own breakfast or pack their bags for school without mother checking them. Her DH has a learned helplessness too - probably makes for a quiet life, but he lived alone before they got together and seemed to manage fine. The lads are actually nice and quite bright, just emotionally immature. Mother is jealous of my slightly older DDs and their independence. Mine didn't wake up like that, it took a lot of effort to get them there.

At year 8, a NT child should be perfectly capable of managing their own revision. If they mess up, there is lots of time to help them sort it out before public exams kick in.

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LottiesHook · 07/10/2022 12:53

Luckycatt · 07/10/2022 12:46

Yes - ex teacher and I help my own ks3 kids with revision. It's much like what I'd be reaching my Ks3 classes when I taught. Strategies to revise, ideas to memorise things, helping retention. So I show my kids things like mind maps - we might draw one together for a science test for example. I don't know how much of that sort of skill teaching goes on in their school. I suspect very little.

I am intrigued by mind maps for science. You wouldn't be able to upload a picture as an example? My ds flat out refuses to make mind maps (or flashcards). Sad He is very bright but has no idea how to revise and does not get the concept of study skills.

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PugInTheHouse · 07/10/2022 12:56

Absolutely not in Y8 or 9, IMO there is little point to these exams. My DCs are at private school and have had end of year exams every year from Y3 but they are kept low key, they are given a revision booklet each year to show the potential topics and the most I have ever done is ask if they are doing it, have done it etc. Obviously always there to support them if required. DS2 has autism and ADHD so sometimes needs me to chat to him first and help him get in the right frame of mind to study.

Personally in Y10 and 11 I would expect them to be able to study alone, plan what they need to do and make decisions on how long is appropriate for them, some DCs of course will need more help but overall for a NT child I would expect self regulation from them.

In RL I have never heard of anyone sitting down for a couple of hours for Y8 exams with their DCs, or even GCSEs for that matter (but there are a couple of astonishing threads on here about the hot housing/micromanaging that goes on). Independence in studying (and all aspects of growing up) is really important. I have always felt I wanted to know what my DCs true ability is, if I am having to sit with them for a couple of hours a night and they are unable to do this independently then this isn't going to be sustainable, I have seen situations play out in RL a couple of times where a child is pushed further than their real capabilities, they then believe they will achieve much higher and are left very disappointed.

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conkercollector · 07/10/2022 12:58

After DD1 did nothing at all for her first year 7 assessments, I did start to help her structure a revision timetable and showed her how to make revision notes (they don't seem to teach this at school). I would ask her a few test questions or look at some online together. Now she's Year 8 I hope I can just help her with a timetable and ask a few questions to check she has actually done the revision. I think it's a big jump in expectations between primary, where all revision work is done in class (and my DD was a year when they didn't take SATS because of Covid so probably didn't even do in-class revision) and secondary where you are expected to do a lot independently.

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chesirecat99 · 07/10/2022 13:04

It's unusual but I don't think it is a bad thing. It's important to learn independence and be self motivated but it's also important to learn how to do that and acquire study skills. We micromanaged Year 7 exams to encourage good habits and teach them revision skills, then left them to it with minimal involvement afterwards. My logic was at 11 they will probably listen to advice from parents but by the time it matters at GCSE, not a chance!

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justasoul · 07/10/2022 13:06

DD is in Y9 and my input is limited to asking if she has any homework due or any assessments coming up. She will ask if she needs help, we will often discuss topics she’s learning but no formal timetable or anything.

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outtheshowernow · 07/10/2022 13:12

I do t think it's necessary for an 8 year old to revise for anything other than learning spellings or tables. And if they were not doing it off their own back I would not help. Let kids be kids

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MermaidEyes · 07/10/2022 13:31

Half the exams in year 8 are pointless because they won't be doing all those subjects at GCSE level anyway. I left mine to figure out their own study plans, as the way I work may not be the same as the way they work. But I did help with revision for GCSEs and A Levels if they asked me to.

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MermaidEyes · 07/10/2022 13:32

outtheshowernow · 07/10/2022 13:12

I do t think it's necessary for an 8 year old to revise for anything other than learning spellings or tables. And if they were not doing it off their own back I would not help. Let kids be kids

Year 8, so age 12/13

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ErinAoife · 07/10/2022 13:34

Really depend of your kids. My eldest did not need any input from me in secondary school, my middle one need supervision as doing the bare minimum. I don't set up a plan but I make sure his work his done

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FacebookPhotos · 07/10/2022 13:39

Consequently - every evening I am structuring a plan with my DS, re what he will learn that evening and then testing him on it.

This isn't teaching him study skills, it is doing some of the work for him. I agree study skills are important, and need to be developed, but you need to take a bit of a step back and help when he asks or gets stuck rather than taking the lead.

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YouvaGoo · 07/10/2022 13:40

I don’t help or even check homework is done usually. If DD doesn’t do it (which she usually does!) she gets a detention and that’s her tough luck.

But I did help my DD with her Year 8 end of year assessments, as they used these tests to stream them in Year 9 and start looking at suitability for certain GCSE options, so she was really motivated to do well.

I helped her put together a revision timetable, as she’d never done that before, and I tested her most evenings for a couple of weeks on things that involved a lot of memory - French, History, RE.

Her Dad did a few practice maths papers with her.

It wasn’t a hardship, though, and it didn’t take up all evening!

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Pipsickl · 07/10/2022 13:44

I think there is a happy medium here. My mum never took any interest whatsoever in what I was doing at school most of the time and I got average marks.

When I was in year 11 however she did spend a day with me going through revision for an exam. In that exam I got top marks. I remember at the time (and now when I’m in my 30s!) thinking how that would have helped me through my other exams but I hadn’t realised or asked for help.

I think it prob makes a huge difference to the child, and I would say keep on helping them, but maybe just don’t be too intense and keep it fun. I can’t see the harm personally - it’s prob nice to spend the time with your child anyway? I’ll prob help my kids in the same way.

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noblegiraffe · 07/10/2022 13:49

Yes I did. DS needed help to organise which evenings he would be revising for which subjects and he didn’t appreciate how long it would take to go through a year’s content, so was surprised when I said he should be revising at least two weeks in advance.

With the actual revision he was fine with stuff like languages where they created quizlets. He was not fine when e.g in geography he was told to revise ‘volcanos’ and didn’t know where to start. He liked being tested on things he had revised.

He is absolutely fine at organising his homework but had never really revised for big exams before. These skills need teaching.

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Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 15:27

outtheshowernow · 07/10/2022 13:12

I do t think it's necessary for an 8 year old to revise for anything other than learning spellings or tables. And if they were not doing it off their own back I would not help. Let kids be kids

Good heavens - year 8

not 8 years old! My 8 year old does pretty much squat all in the evenings work wise!

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Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 15:30

MermaidEyes · 07/10/2022 13:31

Half the exams in year 8 are pointless because they won't be doing all those subjects at GCSE level anyway. I left mine to figure out their own study plans, as the way I work may not be the same as the way they work. But I did help with revision for GCSEs and A Levels if they asked me to.

But aside from the “pointlessness” of exams, revision is actually about truly learning what you’ve studied in class. And that’s important. Ie ecology, historical events, language vocab etc.

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Needesppressonow · 07/10/2022 15:35

Same here! I don’t want the same for my son so I get involved, gently at the moment as he’s only year 7 but will support/encourage as and when he needs it

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Blanketpolicy · 07/10/2022 15:35

with ds I worked with him to enable him with study skills and confidence, then gradually backed off once he was on the right track and into good habits.

Absolutely help with with study and planning techniques, but doing it throughout the whole exam season might be a bit excessive and you are then not allowing him to fly with it himself.

Supporting your own child saves a fortune on tutors. Do what is right for them as an individual, but also think beyond short term, the end goal is not to plan for them, but to teach them how to plan themselves.

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saoirse31 · 07/10/2022 15:39

Totally ott, how is he going to learn to mgr his own planning, studying, learning. I think it's quite infantalising tbh, no problem if he asks for help planning r testing him on something but he seems to be totally passive in terms of what he does.

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Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 15:45

saoirse31 · 07/10/2022 15:39

Totally ott, how is he going to learn to mgr his own planning, studying, learning. I think it's quite infantalising tbh, no problem if he asks for help planning r testing him on something but he seems to be totally passive in terms of what he does.

I suppose in the same way babies learn to eat, children learn to go to the toilet by themselves, teenagers learn to cook…. By the parent gently withdrawing and increasing their independence. Which is my plan

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crumpetswithjam · 07/10/2022 15:48

Honestly, Year 8 is the absolute most doss year ever. Angsty Year 7 is over. GCSEs far away enough to not be bothered about. That's why teaching a Year 8 class is always carnage, they do not give a fuck because there's not much to give a fuck about. And they know we know it!

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Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 15:51

crumpetswithjam · 07/10/2022 15:48

Honestly, Year 8 is the absolute most doss year ever. Angsty Year 7 is over. GCSEs far away enough to not be bothered about. That's why teaching a Year 8 class is always carnage, they do not give a fuck because there's not much to give a fuck about. And they know we know it!

Oddly enough - he rest does care. Competitive school in terms of both sport academics

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Doingprettywellthanks · 07/10/2022 15:53

I did nothing with my teenager, because fiercely independent and point blank told / tells me that she doesn’t need nor want any involvement. And her grades mean that I accept her at her word without so much a mutter!

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